by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success but securing that vital last point to claim the title did keep Japanese supporters on the very edges of their seats; Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, after losing the third game, reduced the errors, captured the fourth before establishing a 10-2 lead in the fifth.
Perhaps more relaxed but doing nothing expansive, not taking any risks, Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota saved five match points, as Mima Ito looked in bewilderment at what was unfolding; when the vital sixth match point was secured there was a Japanese celebration of joy but moreover one of relief.
Notably for Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, it was their first ever ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles title as a partnership. Earlier this year they had reached the final in Incheon at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open but had experienced defeat; they suffered at the hands of Germany’s Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja.
Meanwhile, for Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota it was their second successive ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final and their second successive defeat at the hands of Mima Ito. One week earlier in Panagyurishte at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open, they had been beaten by Mima Ito and Kasumi Ishikawa.
Nevertheless the record this year of Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota is most worthy.
Additional to Bulgaria and now the Czech Republic; on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour they were the runners up in Hungary, the winners in India; furthermore, on the Challenge Series, they won in Slovenia.